WCNY-TV is a non-commercial educational public television station located in Syracuse, New York and serving as the area's PBS member station. The station is owned by The Public Broadcasting Council of Central New York, who also owns 91.3 WCNY-FM (Classic FM), and broadcasts on UHF channel 25, using PSIP to bitmap its signal to its former analog channel 24. WCNY-TV's programming is also seen in Utica on low-powered digital repeater W22DO-D channel 22.
WCNY was established on December 20, 1965 by the Onondaga County School Board Association under a charter by the New York State Department of Education. A non-profit organization known as the Public Broadcasting Council of Central New York was set up to manage the station. WCNY intended to use the call letters WHTV, but chose WCNY after the station now known as WWNY-TV in Watertown gave up the call letters.
The new station's equipment were donated by General Electric, whose plant in the nearby town of Salina manufactured broadcast equipment. General Electric also provided WCNY with its studios, located on Old Liverpool Road in the eastern end of Salina. (WCNY's entire TV & radio operations would be based there until 2013, when it moved to its current location.) WCNY initially broadcast in monochrome, using cameras used to tape The Beatles' first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, but switched to color in 1971.
WCNY was initially a member station of NET. When NET was replaced by the Public Broadcasting Service in 1970, WCNY became a member station of PBS. Over the years, WCNY has been responsible for producing programs and specials of local interest, some of which were distributed nationally by PBS and/or other outlets. Among the programs produced by WCNY and seen nationally include Old Enough To Care, a six-part drama that was picked up by PBS and distributed to their member stations in 1982, and Pappyland, a children's television program co-produced with Craftsmen and Scribes' Creative Workshop and telecast for three years on TLC's Ready Set Learn block, in addition to various PBS member stations.
WCNY-TV operates four digital programming subchannels, which also simulcast on W22DO-D:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|24.1||1080i||16:9||WCNY-HD||Main WCNY-TV programming / PBS|
WCNY-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 24, on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 25. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 24.
Prior to March 2013, WCNY-TV's main programming was broadcast in SD-only (480i) on subchannel 24.1, while continuous HD (1080i) programming was offered on subchannel 24.4.
A fifth channel, WCNY2-“Your How To“, had been available on cable only.